Southern Belle

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Lyons: Well, Miss Devereaux! And how is the fairest flower of the South?
Diana: Senator Lyons, that's the prettiest thing been said to me since I left Louisiana. I sure been gettin' pow'ful homesick.
One of the Girls: She sure is getting pow'ful Southern.

Southern Belle is a subculture common in the American South which is associated with upper class white women.

A character archetype of an upper class rich girl from the Deep South—or Sweet Home Alabama. She usually wears a Pimped-Out Dress to every dance or party, carries a Parasol of Prettiness in the daytime, and speaks in the most profound Dixie accent. May be subject to Fainting or saying, "Well, I do declare!"

A somewhat subjective Trope that grew out of the South during The American Civil War, there are two versions of the Southern Belle: the Bonne Belle ("good beauty" in French), who is loyal to her husband and family even as she sees them off to war, and the Mauvaise Belle ("bad beauty" in French), who is selfish and vain and manipulates those around to her get what she wants.

The Southern Belle is generally now a Dead Horse Trope, usually limited to parody and romance novels.

Compare Southern Gentleman (the Spear Counterpart), Yamato Nadeshiko, Princess Classic, Proper Lady (the Japanese, royal, and European counterparts of Bonne Belle).

In Real Life, they sometimes go by (according to The Other Wiki) "Ya Ya Sisters," "Sweet Potato Queens," and "GRITS (Girls Raised In The South)."

Examples of Southern Belle include:

Anime and Manga

  • A southern accent turned Shizuru Fujino into one in My-HiME and Mai-Otome's English dub.
  • Kiel Heim & Lilly Borjarnon from Turn a Gundam appear to have been designed after this archetype.
  • In one episode of Pokémon, James returns home to his blue-blooded family, who promptly inform him of his engagement to a woman named Jessiebelle, a perfect example of this trope.
  • Though in the orginal version she was from Kansai, the dub turns Osaka from Azumanga Daioh into one of these. Her tendancy towards frilly dresses and sunhats mean she looks the part, as well.

Comic Books



  • Melanie Hamilton (Bonne Belle) and Scarlett O'Hara (Mauvais Belle) in Gone with the Wind.
  • Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby is a Western Belle.
  • Mary Johnson of Fellow Travelers. She's rich, from New Orleans, and well-educated for the time period (McCarthy-era Washington). She's also strong-willed and independent, and like so many of the belles on this page, that gets her into trouble.
  • William Faulkner is especially fond of this trope, although his characters tend to be deconstructions.
  • Zin of Everwild is the inverted version of this.
  • Sookie Stackhouse from the saga of the same name could also qualify.
    • Since Sookie has a job as a waitress, she wouldn't really qualify, as Southern Belles tend to prefer sittin' on the verandah sippin' a sweet tea.
  • Claire Goodman of Lynn Austin's Refiner's Fire trilogy is a Mauvais Belle.

Live-Action TV

  • In Leverage, Sophie Devereaux pretended to be one in "The Two Horse Job."
  • In The Drew Carey Show, Drew dates (marries? I'm not sure) a Southern Belle in the later seasons.
  • Charlotte from Private Practice starts off as the mauvaise variation
  • Blanche Devereaux on The Golden Girls.
  • The ladies of Designing Women
  • An episode of The Twilight Zone entitled Jess-Belle, has examples of both. Jess-Belle would be Mauvais, while her rival Ellwyn would be an example of Bonne.
  • Farscape: Aeryn was one of these in an AU episode. It was freakin' terrifying.
  • Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) in The Closer. She's a Southern Belle detective from Georgia who really stands out working in the Los Angeles police department. Her Southern charm and accent are actually a part of her interrogation tactic on suspects - although, as her husband Fritz points out, at heart she's "a bit of an old-fashioned girl."
  • Maude Standish in The Magnificent Seven- although, since she is a con artist, her credentials may be slightly suspect.
  • Calleigh Duquesne from CSI: Miami has elements of this.
  • "Colonel Daddy's daughter" on Hee Haw.
  • Lemon Breeland on Hart of Dixie.

Newspaper Comics


Beulah Belle: Think of those balls you'll have!
Dad: You're too young to think about that, Beulah Balls. Er, Belle.


Video Games

  • Alche-Miss from Freedom Force is Southern Belle crossed with Dirty Hippie in a hilarious manner.
  • A horrible, horrible subversion greets you near the beginning of The Uninvited.
  • Backyard Sports: Billy Jean Blackwood.
  • Pokémon has Lilligant, a plant Mon that looks like one. It's always female.
  • Kingdom of Loathing gives us "Diving Belles", southern belles who drowned themselves and came back as zombies. Parodies of Scarlett O'Hara, their most dangerous attack is kissing the player really hard after mistaking him for an ex-boyfriend.

Web Comics

  • Faye's mother in Questionable Content is something of one (at least compared to her daughters, the elder of whom chose to make her life in darkest Massachusetts and the younger who came out as a lesbian not long after).

Western Animation

  • Luanne from King of the Hill is a modern take on the belle.
    • Bill Dauterive's relatives qualify.
  • In Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation, Buster and Babs meet three Southern belle alligators. They all try to marry (and possibly eat) Buster.
  • In the Futurama episode "The Deep South", Fry meets a mermaid Southern belle in the ruins of the legendary lost sunken city of Atlanta. Fry settles in to enjoy his life with Umbriel, but upon encountering the Mermaid Problem, he runs to try to catch his friends.

Fry: "Turns out I loved her, but I wasn't in love with her."
Amy (to Leela): "Trouble in the bedroom…"